Engineering grad races to Olympic Games

By Andrew Baulcomb, June 18, 2012
    Joseph Veloce has been tapped by Canada's Olympic track cycling team. The 23-year-old will compete at the London Olympics, which open July 25. Track cycling events will begin on Aug. 2.

Recent grad Joseph Veloce has been named to Canada's Olympic track cycling team.

The 23-year-old graduated from the Faculty of Engineering on Friday afternoon, and  within a few hours of receiving his degree learned that he will compete in the Summer  Games in London.

Veloce spoke to the Daily News last week, and thanked McMaster for allowing him to live  and study abroad while competing on the international racing circuit.

"I couldn't have done this without the support of my professors, and especially  Associate Dean Ken Coley," he said. "Education has always been one of my priorities."

When not circling the globe for international competitions, Veloce lives and trains in Los  Angeles, California. He completed the last two years of his electrical engineering degree  on a part-time basis, and was usually only on campus for final exams.

After the Olympics, he'll begin a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of  Southern California, not far from his training facility.

Veloce was also one of three Rhodes Scholarship finalists from McMaster this year.

As a track cyclist, Veloce races at speeds upwards of 80 km/h on a custom fixed-gear  bicycle. Competitions are held on an oval circuit with two straightaways and two steep  banked turns called "super-elevations," and riders must pump their legs up to 200  revolutions per minute using only one gear setting.

The London 2012 Olympics open on Wednesday, July 25, and the track cycling events  will begin on Aug. 2.